EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING PROGRAMS Hands-on preparation for the practice of law Experiential learning - hands-on legal skills training that takes place outside of the classroom - is the most marketable attribute a law school graduate can possess. The skills and knowledge acquired can immediately add value to a hiring firm or legal organization. Coastal Law so strongly believes in the value of experiential learning that we have developed numerous opportunities for students to obtain legal skills as well as an appreciation for the ethical and professional demands of the legal profession.
CONTENTS » Externships » Legal Clinics » Skills Labs » Public Interest Research Bureau » The Shadow Program
» Pro Bono » Law Review » Moot Court » Mock Trial
EXTERNSHIPS Both judicial and non-judicial externships are available for students to gain legal work experience. The externship program’s goal is to provide a rewarding, hands-on experience in judicial chambers or a practice setting that will ease transition into the practice of law with an instilled sense of ethics and professionalism. Externship opportunities are available at organizations including, but not limited, to:
»» City of Jacksonville Ethics Commissions »» Florida District Courts of Appeal »» Florida Department of Children and Families »» Florida Supreme Court »» Jacksonville Area Legal Aid »» Numerous corporations »» Public Defender »» State Attorney »» State and Federal courts in Florida and Georgia »» United States Attorney’s Office »» United States Department of Housing and Urban Development »» Wounded Warrior Project
Additionally, opportunities exist for students to participate in externships in numerous other areas of the country throughout the year.
We also offer a large contingent of non-clinical courses that focus on professional skills and allow practice through simulation. We have courses in areas such as trial and appellate advocacy, dispute resolution, pre-trial drafting, interviewing and counseling, and transactional drafting.
LEGAL CLINICS Coastal Law offers many in-house clinics that allow students, under the supervision of full-time faculty members who are experienced members of the Florida Bar, opportunities to represent a diverse group of clients referred by various public interest agencies. The clinical suite (our law office) also provides a professional setting for students to work on cases, research, and confidentially interview clients, witnesses or other parties. For many students, participating in a clinic is one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences they will have in law school.
FAMILY LAW CLINIC* The Family Law Clinic represents clients in cases involving dissolutions of marriage, paternity proceedings, step parent adoptions, child custody proceedings, child support cases, and other family law related matters.
CARIBBEAN LAW CLINIC Coastal Law also offers a Caribbean Law Clinic where students work on legal problems affecting certain Caribbean nations.
DISABILITY AND PUBLIC BENEFITS CLINIC The Disability and Public Benefits Clinic represents poor and disabled individuals to maintain and/or obtain public benefits such as Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security Disability Insurance, Supplemental Security Income, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, WIC, cash assistance, and unemployment compensation as well as guardian advocacy, guardianship and advanced health care directives.
IMMIGRANT RIGHTS CLINIC The Immigrant Rights Clinic represents low income immigrants and focuses on humanitarian based immigration relief such as asylum, human trafficking visas and relief for immigrant children.
CRIMINAL DEFENSE CLINIC* The Criminal Defense Clinic represents low income individuals charged with misdemeanor offenses. Students handle arraignments and pretrial hearings; argue evidentiary motions; interview and/or depose witnesses; negotiate plea agreements; and participate in jury trials. *Students must register with the Florida Bar and become a certified legal intern to participate.
PRACTITIONER CLINICS A Practitioner Clinics is a specialized course in which students who have already taken the associated doctrinal course work more closely on pro bono cases with a practitioner licensed to practice law in Florida. For instance, students who have already successfully completed the doctrinal Trusts and Estates course in a prior semester are eligible to register for the Trusts and Estates Practitioner Clinic.
WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS CLINIC The overall objective of the clinic is to create an awareness of the magnitude of the problem of wrongful convictions in the U.S., problems that lead to the conviction of the innocent and to explore possible reforms to prevent such.
EDUCATION LAW CLINIC In this clinic, students will work on cases from a 17 county area involving clients who are seeking assistance in pursuing a free and appropriate education for their school-aged children.
UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BENEFITS CLINIC In this clinic, students will work on cases involving clients seeking assistance in pursuing their rights to unemployment compensation benefits through the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation.
NATURALIZATION LAW CLINIC In this clinic, students will work on cases from a 17 county area involving clients who are seeking assistance in pursuing a free and appropriate education for their school-aged children.
WILLS, ESTATES AND TRUSTS CLINIC This clinic examines wills and other methods for preserving and transferring wealth or property to beneficiaries in the context of death or economic planning.
PRACTITIONER CLINICS (CONT.) INTERVIEWING AND COUNSELING CLINIC
This clinic will teach the basic skills involved in interviewing and counseling clients in a law office through simulated sessions and faculty feedback.
FLORIDA APPELLATE LAW CLINIC
In this clinic, each student will work on cases of live clients referred by the Florida Supreme Court, District Courts of Appeal or, as directed through, the Appellate Section of the Florida Bar.
CHILD ADVOCACY AND DEPENDENCY CLINIC
This course addresses the legal issues surrounding juvenile delinquency and the controlling procedural rules. This course covers: origins of the juvenile justice system, jurisdiction over delinquents and status offenders, pretrial criminal procedure, preliminary screening, diversion and waiver, detention procedural rights of the juvenile at trial, and disposition.
VETERAN’S BENEFITS CLINIC
This course provides students with an opportunities to develop interviewing and counseling skills, collaborative team building skills, and advocacy writing skills in representing military veterans before the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (DVA). Specifically, students will assist disabled veterans in developing their claims for compensation for submission to the DVA at the Decision Review Officer (DRO) level.
This clinic explores non-litigation methods for resolving legal disputes in the context of a lawyer’s obligations to serve clients with diligence.
PUBLIC INTEREST RESEARCH BUREAU The Florida Coastal Public Interest Research Bureau (the Bureau) is a student-volunteer research service that provides free legal research to lawyers working for public interest and poverty law organizations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina. The Bureau’s student researchers and writers complete research requests during a 28-day editorial process overseen by a student board of editors and Florida Coastal faculty. The goal of the Bureau is to provide student research and writing services to poverty law attorneys in an effort to make justice available to all. The Bureau provides assistance in a range of substantive areas:
»» Civil Rights »» Consumer Rights »» Debt Collection »» Employment »» Family Law »» Foreclosure »» Immigration »» Medicaid
»» Private Landlord Tenant Eviction
»» Public Benefits »» Public Housing »» Public School Expulsion »» SSI and Social Security Disability
»» Subsidized Housing »» Probate
SHADOW PROGRAM Launched in 2008 with founding sponsor Holland & Knight LLP, The Florida Coastal Shadow Program is an ABA award winning program that offers students a unique opportunity to bridge classroom doctrinal instruction and courtroom practice skills. Students who participate in the program have opportunities to shadow state and federal judges and attorneys from private firms, public interest law offices, and governmental law departments at trial, evidentiary hearings, motion hearings, and depositions, as well as at nonlitigation proceedings such as mediations, and settlements. The program offers students a unique opportunity to learn how trials are conducted, how arguments are made, how evidence is presented and objected to, how lawyers talk to judges, how lawyers talk to clients, and how lawyers talk to one another.
PRO BONO Pro bono work is volunteer legal and non-legal work done without credit or compensation that law students perform to benefit individuals, groups or organizations. Coastal Lawâ€™s commitment to providing pro bono opportunities for our students is in direct alignment with one of our fundamental mission pillars which is to serve the underserved. While attending law school Coastal Law students are given the opportunity to develop their legal skills while learning the importance of helping individuals who do not have the resources to help themselves. Graduating classes have earned more than 38,000 hours in recent years.
LAW REVIEW The Florida Coastal Law Review is a legal journal edited by second and third year students, published three times a year. Students edit and publish legal articles submitted by legal scholars and practitioners, and also write articles and case notes for publication. Florida Coastal Law Reviewâ€™s mission is to publish a visible and forwardthinking journal that influences and engages the legal community. We challenge our students to seek publication and to cultivate an environment of personal and professional achievement. Law Review also encourages scholarly excellence by providing a forum for the exchange of cutting-edge legal ideas. Law Review staff also plan and host an annual symposium that invites national experts to explore a variety of current and controversial topics, including the 10-year anniversary of September 11, and free speech in cyberspace.
COURTROOM SIMULATION MOCK TRIAL The Coastal Law Mock Trial Team consists of an elite group of law students trained in the art of trial-level litigation. Each year, Team members represent Coastal Law in competitions with students from law schools across the nation. At these competitions, Team members present cases before judge and jury. Cases encompass a wide range of topics in both the civil and criminal arena. Case topics have included insurance fraud, homicide, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and wrongful death. Many students compete for acceptance onto the Team, but only the outstanding advocates are selected. New members enter a rigorous training program designed to teach proper courtroom demeanor, hone their presentation abilities, and sharpen their legal reasoning skills. The process includes seminars, practice trials, and an intramural competition.
MOOT COURT Coastal Law has a deep tradition of extracurricular excellence, as evidenced by the performances of our moot court teams. All law schools across the country participate in moot court, one of the oldest and most respected activities for law students, and our program is consistently ranked among the nationâ€™s best.*** Moot Court allows students an experience similar to that of actual appellate attorneys. While competing in competitions all over the United States and as far away as Austria, students prepare written briefs and make oral arguments. Florida Coastal students are learning the very best techniques in legal research and writing, analyzing case law, developing arguments and sharpening critical thinking.
***According the Moot Court National Championship Standings
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